Common phrases


Senior Member
Français, France.
Hello world. ♪

There is my try to create a glossary gathering common and useful phrases in many languages. My idea is that in numerous country or with speakers of foreign languages, to know a few basic phrases or idioms can be very useful.
For instance: "Hello", "My name is ...", "Do you speak English?", "Yes", "No", "I'm thirsty", "I need help", "thank you", "I'm sorry", "Goodbye", among other things.

Parts in parenthesis are optional ones, just like in "(I'm) sorry" or "I don't speak English (very well)".
Letters between bracket indicates the gender of the word (M / F), if it sould be used by male or female speaker (MS / FS), or if the phrase is formal or casual.

Right now, the whole content is either from Wikipedia or written by me, and there is sixty three phrases for seventeen languages (some of them are almost empty).
There is of course numerous blanks to fill, that's why I need your help. :)

Besides, I would be grateful if you could also check the phrases that are already in the file. If you do, please notice in your message that you've edited or corrected some of them, and which ones.

You are obviously free to add new sentences or new languages in the table. Background color indicate the language family (the silver one is the default color for isolated languages or alike); if you are unable to modify it, don't worry about it, somebody else will do it. :)

Thank you in advance!


  • Common phrases.xls
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  • I added the Finnish column. 'Please' is not described in very high detail, you have to look for it somewhere else.


    • Common phrases.xls
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    Tagalog: hello= helow, I am thirsty= nauuhaw ako/uhaw ako, do you speak English?Ingles ka ba?/nagsasalita ka ba ng Ingles?, My name is Kulas.= si kulas ako./kulas ang pangalan ko/kulas ang ngalan ko/kulas ang tawag sa akin.where do you live?=saan ka natuloy/nakatira?, what time is it?=anong oras na?, are you a european? yuropyan ka ba?where is the CR? =saan ba ang palikuran/panabihan?. Fine= mabuti naman, is it rainy?= maulan ba? , what a clear sky! anong liwalas ng himpapawid, where is the route/way going to Athens? saan ba ang daanan patungo(papunta) sa Atens?
    Well, thank you both for your contribution. :)
    I've spotted that the orginial XLS was encoded in ANSI and not in unicode, hence the fact that Arabic and Japanese was not correctly displayed. This is fixed by now. :)

    I've added the Tagalog column. I've added the six Tagalog rows that was not present in the former version, among which "what time is it?" and "where do you live?".

    Do not forget to indicate in a pair of expressions which one of them is more formal than the other with the labels [C] (colloquial) and [F] (formal). For instance:
    [Portuguese] "(I'm) sorry" = desculpe-me [F] / desculpa [C] --> the former is formal, the latter is not.

    Regarding the multiple translations of "Please" in Finnish, I'm interested to know in what kind of context they are use, because I will maybe split up this row in multiple "Please" context rows. In Japanese there is also different translations for "Please" depending on context. Thus, "X kudasai" means "give me X" or "please do X", whereas "onegai shimasu" is used to make a request and "douzo" is used to say "be my guest".

    Anyway, there is the new version of the file. Do not hesitate to reporte anything that seems wrong. ♪


    • Common phrases #3.xls
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    Hi, I have updated the list with Spanish phrases and have added URDU language and its phrases but the Urdu phrases have been given in ROMAN URDU for the ease of foreigners.


    • Common phrases #3.xls
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    Thank you for your contribution to this glossary. No one had posted by there for a long time, this glossary seems to have not encountered a great success. Maybe did I add too many row therein?

    I see that six new entries (rows) has been added (mainly with Tagalog), among which "Where do you live?", "What time is it?" and "What a clear sky!". "Where do you live?" is a good one, but I would consider the others as quite useless, I wouldn't have added them, because the aim of this glossary is to gather the most useful basic words and phrases, which can help one to have basic communications with speakers of a foreign language, whitout having to learn its basis.

    At first, "what time is it?" seems a very good basic sentence, and incidentally I already thought of it, but I've finally chosen to don't add it, because saying such a sentence implies that you can understand the numerals of the target language, and adding numerals in this glossary would pretty weigh it down.

    Anyway, I also updated the glossary, here are the modifications I've done:
    • Minor corrections (especially in the English column);
    • Addition of a row for filling sound ("erm", "uh", "err", "um" in English);
    • Filling of the Esperanto language column;
    • Rewriting the Japanese column: now it is in Latin alphabet mode, so that you can read it without knowing its writting system (kanas + kanjis).

    I also intend to split the "please" row into two different ones, "please give me X" and "please do X", because it is quite ambiguous. But I will need help for the Finnish column, where Sakvaka has written:
    "Please = (not used) / kiitos / ole hyvä, depending on context"
    I would be glad if some Finnish speaker could split this word list into the two specific uses I mentioned (please do, please give). :)

    Here I attached the uptated version of the file:
    [ View attachment Common phrases #4.xls ]
    Last edited:
    so Hebrew:
    native language name: ivrit
    yes: ken
    no: lo
    maybe: ulay

    Yes: ken
    No: lo
    Maybe: ulay
    Erm, uh [filler sound]: emmm
    I don't know: (ani=I) lo yode'a(MS) yoda'at(FS)
    I don't remember: (ani) lo zocher(MS)+et(FS)
    That's okay: ze beseder
    Well: can differ... if its well done - kol hacavod, very well then - tov/uvchen. also if you mean well of water - be'er
    Of course: kamuvan,bevaday
    I hope: ani mekave(MS)/mekava(FS)
    Why?: lama
    Let's go!: bo'(w)u nazuz/nelech. kadima. yalla
    Welcome: youre welcome - bevakasha. welcome back - baruch(M) hashav(M)/haba. brucha(F) hashava(F)/haba'a
    Hello: shalom,hi
    Good morning: boker tov
    Good afternoon: tzahara'(y)im tovim
    Good evening: erev tov
    Good night: layla tov
    Good-bye: le'hitra'ot(see you), shalom,bye.
    See you (soon): nitra'e/nipagesh bekarov, me'ukhar yoer, akhar chach.
    Could I use the phone? : efshar lehishtamesh batelefon. efshar lehitkasher?
    Hello? (on the telephone) : halo
    How are you?: ma nishma? eich at(FS)+a(MS) margish(MS)+a(FS)? ma hamatzav, ha'inyanim,kore
    I'm good / bad: ani beseder/(assuming you want to know if the person is feeling healthy or not) ani lo margish(MS)+a(FS) tov
    I need help.: ani tzarich(MS)/tzricha(FS) ezra
    I am thirsty.: ani tzame(MS)/tzme'a(FS)
    I am hungry.: ra'ev(MS) re'eva(FS)
    I feel tired.: ayef(MS) ayefa(FS)
    I am sick.: hole(MS) hola(FS)
    I am fine.: beseder
    I don't feel well: lo margish(MS)+a(FS) tov
    Water: ma'yim
    Please: bevakasha
    Thank you (very much): toda (raba)
    This one: ze(Male noun/thing). zot(female noun/thing) - in basic level that is.
    That one: haze
    That yonder: hahu
    These ones: ele/ha'ele/elu/halalu
    How many?: kama
    How much?: kama
    How much? (price) : kama ze ole? / ma hamekhir?(whats the price)
    You're welcome.: bevakasha
    "Bon appétit!": bete'avon
    [Generic toast]: lekhaim(to life)
    One moment!: rega (ekhad)
    I come back soon: techef/bekarov ashuv/ekhzor
    What happened?: ma kara?
    What is happening?: ma kore?
    (I'm) sorry.: if its like excuse me youre blocking the street - slikha! if its im sorry i hurt you - mitzta'er(MS)+et(FS)
    Forgive me: tislakh(M)/tislekhi(F) li
    Excuse me : slikha;
    Pardon me : tislakh(M)/tislekhi(F) li!
    What's your name?: eich kor'im lecha(M)/lach(F)
    My name is ***: kor'im li ***
    Where are we?: e(y)fo anakhnu
    Where is the bathroom?: e(y)fo hasherutim
    I don't understand.: ani lo mevin(MS)+a(FS)
    I didn't understand.:lo hevanti
    Could you speak more slowly?: to male: tuchal ledaber yoter le'at
    to female: tuchli ledaber yoter le'at?
    I don't speak [language name] (very well).: ani lo medaber(MS)+et(FS) [...] (kol kach) tov.
    Do you speak English?: at(F)+a(M) medaber(M)+et(F) anglit
    Where do you live? : eifo at(F)+a(M) gar(M)+a(F)
    What time is it?: ma hasha'a
    Are you an european? :at(F)+a(M) eropei(M)+t(F)
    Is it rainy? : like later? yihiye gashum? yered geshem?
    What a clear sky! : eize shamayim behirim!
    Where is the route/way going to Athens? : whats that?
    [English language name]Tamil
    [Native language name]
    I don't knowenakku theriyavillai
    I don't rememberenakku gyaabakam illai
    That's okayparavaillai
    Of courseappadiye
    I hope
    Let's go!naam pOkalaam
    Good morningvanakkam
    Good afternoon
    Good evening
    Good night
    See you (soon)paarkaalaam
    Could I use the phone?
    Hello? (on the telephone)
    How are you?eppadi irukinraai?
    I'm good / badnalla irukinrEn/ Illai
    I need help.enakku uthavi vendum
    I am thirsty.
    dhaahama Irrukku
    I am hungry.pasi edukkuthu
    I feel tired.sOrvaa irukku
    I am sick.enakku udambu seri illai.
    I am fine.nalla irukinrEn
    I don't feel wellUdambu sari illai
    Thank you (very much)nanri
    This oneithu
    That oneathu
    That yonder
    These onesIvai
    How many?ethanai
    How much?evvalavu
    How much? (price)evvalavu
    You're welcome.eppothum varalaam
    "Bon appétit!"
    [Generic toast]
    One moment!oru nimidam
    I come back soonseekiram varen
    What happened?enna nadanthathu
    What is happening?enna Nadakinrathu
    (I'm) sorry.
    Forgive memannithuvidungal
    excuse me
    pardon me
    What's your name?ungal peyar enna?
    My name is ***en peyar -----
    Where are we?naam enge irukinrom?
    Where is the bathroom?engE kulippathu ?
    I don't understand.enakku puriyave Illai
    I didn't understand.enakku puriya villai
    Could you speak more slowly?methuvaaha pesungal.
    I don't speak *** (very well). [*** = language name]enakku english konjam konjam theriyum.
    Do you speak English?english theriyuma?